Sunday, July 24, 2011

Water, So little to go around.

Picture of Earth showing if all Earth's water (liquid, ice, freshwater, saline) was put into a sphere it would be about 860 miles (about 1,385 kilometers) in diameter. Diameter would be about the distance from Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas, USA.
Credit: Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; USGS

This past week saw much of the United States sweltering under the doldrums of mid-summer, when extreme humidity and high temperatures married to launch a thousand news clips, as sweating correspondences sought out comments from the uncomfortable so their anchors could drive the global warming narrative. Little was noted that the West Coast was cool and in Southern California, June Glum was sticking around to keep the sun away until late morning in most areas near the coast. I came across this article in the Atlantic Magazine by Rebecca J. Rosen that reminds us how an invention by a gent named Willis Carrier, helped shape Modern America.
Before air conditioning, in a bygone and surely less comfortable era, people employed all sorts of strategies for keeping cool in the heat. Houses were designed with airflow in mind -- more windows, higher ceilings. A style once prevalent in the American south, the dogtrot house, was really two smaller cabins -- one for cooking and the other for living -- connected under one roof with an open-air corridor between them. In addition, many homes had porches where families could spend a hot day, and also sleeping porches with beds where they could ride out a hot night. Many home designs took passive solar design principles into account, even if they didn't name them as such.
Ms. Rosen sketches out the essential role that air conditioning has played in changing our lives for the better.

Read more
Keeping it Cool: How the air conditioner made Modern America

Air conditioning shaped our world, but one element remains at the root of life and next to planting one's self under the blowing vent of one Mr. Carrier's inventions, a glass of cool water, or any beverage that has water as the prime ingredient, will cool you down and keep you alive. Water, a resource that's supply has not grown to keep pace with the population is said to becoming more valuable than oil in the coming decades.

Two articles in Yale Global Online look at how water is challenging rising Asian powers where a scarcity of water threatens the present and the future.
Before heavy June rains ended one of the most severe droughts in the Yangtze River Basin in 60 years, farmers in Hubei Province warned of rice shortages because of late planting. Downriver, coal-fired power plants cut back electrical generation because coal-loaded barges couldn’t navigate the low waters. The Yangtze’s shallow depth and the utility industry’s weakened power output reflect both this spring’s unusual conditions and the growing resource confrontation China faces with water, energy and food.
Read more:
Water Challenges Asia Powers.
Drawing water from an Indian well.

China is not the only country facing this challenge. India is facing an even more desperate crisis.
By July this year, the monsoon has established itself vigorously over much of the subcontinent. The anxieties of the long, intense summer months, when nations hold their collective breath in anticipation of the cooling, life-giving rain, have receded. But the region’s1.6 billion people know that next summer, the worries will return.
Water is ultimately a finite resource. With all finite resources, there is a continuous need for sustainable and equitable management, by capping demand, improving efficiencies in supply and developing substitutes. This exercise is complicated by the sociocultural beliefs, values and affinities around this
Read more:
Water Challenges Part II

To help understand, the situation, here are two links that will explain the details.
Where in the Earth is the Water

The World's Water

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